Shep Hyken\'s Customer Service Blog

Posts tagged "manage expectations"

Most people do what they are supposed to do – what is expected by the customer.  When someone goes out of the way to help us, we are surprised.  Our expectations are exceeded.

Doing a little something extra or special is not difficult. Sometimes it means just doing whatever you are supposed to do with a positive attitude. Other times it might mean going out of your way or making an extra effort to help a customer. Anybody can be okay – average.  It is the excellent people and the excellent companies that are willing to do the extra things necessary to not have just satisfied customers, but LOYAL customers!

Let’s end with a quote from James C. Penney, founder of J.C. Penny Stores.  He said…

“It is the service we are NOT OBLIGED to give that people VALUE the most!”

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional  speaker and New York Times   bestselling business author. For information contact (314) 692-2200 or https://www.hyken.com. For information on The  Customer  Focus™ customer service training programs go to http://www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
(Copyright ©MMXII, Shep Hyken)

When discussing customer service, I don’t like to pick on the airlines. Their shortcomings are obvious. Yet while I may encounter that curmudgeon at the ticket counter or that crusty flight attendant, when it comes to the people side, the airlines usually deliver acceptable levels of service. It is usually the operational side that has created problems for the airlines; flight delays, cancellations, lost luggage, etc.

To support the airlines, many times these delays or cancellations are necessary due to weather or mechanical issues. Still, they are not always handled very well. Sometimes the bad service comes down to what appears to be complete ineptness. The service in the airline industry has become so inconsistent that many of their customers have adapted to the model that says, “Treat me like crap. I don’t care. Just get me there on time and I’ll fly with you again.”

That said, we can learn a lot from the airlines. Here are four simple lessons that the airlines teach us.

Manage my expectations. I hate delayed flights – or delayed anything! If we have to wait for our reservation at a restaurant or in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, let us know how long it will be. And don’t tell us 20 minutes, when it is really 45 minutes. In other words, don’t let me down – again.

Give me information. Is there bad weather? Is it a mechanical problem? Tell me and maybe I’ll understand. In any business, if something goes wrong, be honest about it. Let us know quickly and what you plan to do about it. The more we know, the better we feel.

Have a backup plan. So the flight is canceled, what are you going to do about it? I’ve gone to stores that advertise sale items that are out of stock. Do I walk away disappointed? No. The good stores give me options that will make me happy.

Create confidence. As mentioned above, just get me there on time and I’ll fly with you again. In any business, customers expect what they buy (products or services) to do what they are supposed to do. Throw in consistently great service and you have a winning combination.

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional  speaker and New York Times   bestselling business author. For information contact (314) 692-2200 or https://www.hyken.com. For information on The  Customer  Focus™ customer service training programs go to http://www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
(Copyright ©MMXII, Shep Hyken)